Great Sand Dunes is continually working to improve access so that everyone can experience this unique landscape. If you have special needs or particular questions, please contact a staff member at 719-378-6395, or e-mail us.
Access to the Dunes
The closest parking to the dunefield is the Dunes Parking Area, located 1 mile north of the Visitor Center. There is an accessible mat from the dunes parking area to the edge of the Medano Creek and the sand. However, beyond the edge of the dunes, loose sand and the creek make access into the dunefield itself nearly impossible for those with traditional thin-wheeled chairs.
A limited number of sand wheelchairs are available for loan at the visitor center. One is designed for small adults, and one for small children. Although a helper is required to push the chairs through soft sand, large inflatable tires make short trips across the sand possible.
Open daily, the building and rest rooms are fully accessible. A 20-minute captioned introductory film is shown daily during the summer months and on request during the winter months. Learn more about the Visitor Center.
Camping at the Sawmill Backcountry Campsite
An accessible yet primitive Sawmill Backcountry campsite is available by reservation at 719-378-6395, or in person if not reserved in advance. Located 0.7 miles north on the Medano Pass Primitive Road entrance, the two-car parking area and camp can accommodate up to four wheelchairs on rough, overgrown terrain. The trail to the campsite is 0.1 mile long, and has a maximum grade of 6%. Facilities include an elevated tent pad, picnic table, fire grate, firewood and food storage containers, and a private accessible pit toilet. Call (719) 378-6395 for information or reservations.
Picnicking at the Dunes Picnic Area
There is one accessible site with a hardened trail to a nearby accessible restroom. The site is shaded and close to a small seasonal creek. Learn more about picnicking at Great Sand Dunes.
Free Ranger Programs
Most programs are accessible. Daily programs take place at the Visitor Center. Evening programs are offered many nights in the amphitheater from late May through early September. A paved, lighted, and mostly level trail leads from the campground to the amphitheater. For programs in the sand, you may check out a dunes wheelchair. Check with park staff for other offerings that may be accessible.
Last updated: April 5, 2020